Jeremy Renner clarifies his controversial wage gap comments
Two days after Jeremy Renner was castigated on social media for comments about the wage gap, the Avengers: Age of Ultron star used his Twitter account to clarify the remarks.
“On the issue of gender equality I have always supported women deserving equal pay. Period,” Renner wrote. “A person should be rewarded only by their merit or service to their given field. Gender, race, creed, or sexual orientation should have absolutely no influence in pay, positively or negatively.”
The topic of unequal wages in Hollywood was pushed to the forefront late last year, when a leaked email as part of the Sony hack revealed Renner, Bradley Cooper, and Christian Bale made more money for American Hustle than their female costars, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams. This month, Lawrence wrote an essay for Lenny Letter that asked “Why do I make less than my male costars?”
“Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves,” Lawrence wrote. “If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share. Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a ‘spoiled brat.’ For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.”
In the wake of Lawrence’s essay, Cooper applauded his frequent costar, and said he would try to team up with actresses to negotiate salaries side-by-side.
“I don’t know where it’s changing otherwise but that’s something that I could do,” Cooper said to Reuters. “Usually you don’t talk about the financial stuff, you have people. But you know what? It’s time to start doing that.”
Renner was criticized, however, after telling Business Insider that it wasn’t his responsibility to negotiate alongside his female costars as a way to ensure everyone received equal pay.
“That’s not my job,” Renner said. “I don’t know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff. […] I’m a performer and I know human behavior. When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that. I do what I’m good at, that’s what I focus on.”
As noted by Business Insider, Renner expressed at the time that he did support pay equality. On Friday, Renner added that he hoped society reached an equal playing field for everyone.
“I have always asked for all of us to move towards a unity and equality not just in pay, but in social acceptance and discover compression and tolerance within ourselves, to bridge our differences; united we stand,” Renner wrote. “We will always be one. Like it or not.”
Read his full response below.